Monday 29 June 2015

Recipe: Spicy papaya salad

To be honest, it's a bit cheeky to call this a recipe since it really is just throwing a whole bunch of things into a bowl and letting the flavours combine. I got so many comments about it when I served it at a dinner recently though, that I thought I better document it anyway! It's so colourful and delicious, and the spicy chilli dressing makes it a good winter option.

It reminds me of being in Thailand, where I ate so much of this salad - but every time I ordered it, I had to specify: extra chilli, no fish sauce, no shrimp, no meat, more peanuts please! With my version, at least I know there is nothing in it I wouldn't eat!

I started off wanting to make a green papaya salad, however, when I cut open my green-on-the-outside papaya, it was not so green anymore, but I decided to go with it anyway! It's a very flexible salad, I've given you the quantities I used, but feel free to change it up to your own tastes and add or remove things as you want (as I mentioned, the traditional version would include shrimp and fish sauce too).
Spicy Papaya Salad
printable link

  • 1 green papaya, grated (yield, about 2 cups)
  • handful green beans, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, grates (about 1/4 cup)
  • punnet of cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red chilli, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • salt to taste
  • Optional: roasted peanuts, finely sliced lettuce
  1. In a mortar and pestle, mix together the chilli and garlic before adding the lime juice, sugar and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, add the papaya, carrot, beans and cherry tomatoes. 
  3. Pour the garlic/chilli mixture over the top, and mix everything together. Cover tightly (so the smell of garlic doesn't permeate the fridge) and let it sit in the fridge while the flavours marinate.
  4. To serve, dish up and sprinkle with the peanuts.
  • I had intended to mix lettuce into my salad but I completely forgot to add it. I don't think it lacked anything, but it would totally work in there too for a bit of extra crunch.
  • You could also substitute the lettuce for cabbage instead.
  • The dressing is quite spicy, but I like a little heat. You could easily leave the chilli out, or serve them at the end sprinkled on top as well.

I served it alongside burgers, to add some vegetables into a carb filled meal. It was a perfect accompaniment!

I have submitted this salad to the July 2015 No Croutons Required

Do you eat salads in winter?


  1. This is definitely my sort of 'recipe'! I discovered green papaya salad only a few years ago and loved it and this twist sounds equally delicious. Perfect for our currently hot weather too, although I suspect papayas cost a bit here!

    1. I can't go past a good easy recipe either... sometimes the fewer steps the better! I hope you can find a well priced papaya to play with though :-)

  2. Now I am wanting papaya. That sound so easy and refreshing. Thanks for sharing with NCR.



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